Dugout Doug and Drugstore Blitz Yet it is admirably pluckish and appropriate for the purposes of an unsophisticated expression of basic Christian tenets and The Individual as solipsist and gun-toter free of big government. D. H. Lawrence has written that Americans “have always been shouting about the things they are not.” “The freest,” he argued, “are perhaps least free. . . Men are free when they are obeying some deep inward voice of religious belief’ and “freest when they are unconscious of freedom. The shout is a rattling of chains, always was.” Within the MacArthur Academy, this rattling has been rendered by the tools of the muralist, interior designer and decorator. First, there is the tallest space, the Hall of Christian Civilization. \(A $2 nontaxed tour catalog prepared by retired U.S. Army Col. Russell 0. Fudge, academy director and associate professor of political science at Howard Payne, asserts that the room’s name “befits the Ameruplifting space, tooI had to crane my neck at the centerpiece mural, a gaudy oil-based affair by Charles Sweitzer of Charlotte, N.C., as a quiet-spoken and candid student guide named Vince Ornelas interpreted its colorful Christian symbolism. The less said about this expanse of Belgian linen canvas the better, except that environmentalists and ecologists will be uncomfortable to hear that Evil is always depicted in green. There are tour stops at Mediterranean Hall, Magna Carta Hall, and Independence Hall, all bewildering replica rooms full of mixed artifacts depicting the glory of our more civilized predecessorsand the talents of some amateur museum curator. The most ambitious simulations are those of Egyptian pharoahs. With his lightweight counterfeitssculptures of molded plastic and resin covered with pink marble dust from Llanoartist and architect Buck Winn of Wimberley has come as close as one can to reproducing what Col. Fudge calls in his tract “the sun-burned rocks of the upper Nile.” The eight-foot high MacArthur statue out front, in real bronze, is by Waldine Tauch of San Antonio, and is considered by the artist to be her masterpiece. Up close, the face looks too much like Lloyd Bridges, but it’s a good job as representational heroicism goes, and the sculptress now holds an honorary doctor’s degree from graduate-school-less Howard Payne. Tauch is also responsible for the notorious Texas Ranger on permanent display in the terminal lobby at Dallas’ Love Field. But the Academy’s real treat, and what I had all along secretly come to see, is Dugout Doug’s World War II memorabilia. In a modest glass case, in the center of the small but immodest MacArthur Room, are the battered, braided-bill cap of scrambled eggs, a thin leather sunglasses case emblazoned with his name and five stars \(I thought it reeked the most of battle the corncob pipe. Personal symbols seem to be essential to the identities of specialized warriors and civilian doyens alike, and these outshine a nearby collection of Samurai swords and historic documents which touch almost every aspect of the country’s 20th century manic-depressive surge to power. The final and climactic interior space is audio-visual Constitution Hall, the most threatening because it is cluttered with the sort of electric gimcrackery that upto-date schoolmen \(in league with artional settings with such abandon. One horrendous wall displays a relief map of the Pacific half of the world. and spots representing the atolls and islands which the late general was responsible for liberating are wired to accommodate lights that change from red \(signifying green \(here, strangely, symbolizing the beachheads and victories of the forment is a racial doctrine of slay the enemy and pray to our God, who is the Only One. What most shocks the uninitiated visitor is the super-seriousness of it all. The rigidity to the underlying tone of this rightist planetarium prevents it from having any kind of broad appeal, bait it. is nonetheless wonderfully indicative of the conservative, pions and unquestioning patriotism that is still the majority political ethic in the hinterlands, The whole place is frightening to an egalitarian sensitivity, to anyone who cares about duty, honor, country, but who would serve the cause of enlightenment first. 0 Observer contributor James Stanley Walker won the Texas Society of Architects’ John Flowers Award for excellence in architectural criticism in 1976. He is an Austin-based residential and commercial designer. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21 By James Stanley Walker Brownwood On 17 April, 1961, Douglas MacArthur wrote to President Guy D. Newman of Baptist-dominated Howard Payne Col lege in Brownwood acknowledging “the honor and distinction” he felt at having a new department of the college bear his name. The retired general said he hoped that “the students who pass through the portals of [the] new Academy of Freedom will do so in the determination and re lentless search for the means to shore up, fortify and revitalize that cherished heritage which they hold, not alone for themselves but in sacred trust for the generations which are to follow.” And, revealing what the Gregory Peck movie vehicle “MacArthur” sidestepped, he bore down on what his militant Republi can angst was all about: the students “must seek the way to restrain the cur rent heavy-handed levies upon individ ual and business earnings lest the will to work and to apply to the maximum our creative energies shrink into nonexis tence. Much of our tax structure is obvi ously designed to affect a redistribution of wealth by men bent upon destroying that traditional freedom which permits the creation, accumulation and disposal of private property, rather than a levy upon earnings to defray the legitimate and proper costs of government. This false philosophyso alien to our deeply rooted concepts of freedommust be eliminated before it destroys the vitality of our free society.” And so on, and on. While I am happy to announce that the old soldier’s namesake institution has only two dozen junior and senior studentsand that there is little danger of a trained, effective anti-communist cadre hitting the streets each spring fresh from the Douglas MacArthur Academy of FreedomI am obliged to report that the architecture, Remodeled Drugstore Blitz, is unfortunate in the extreme. \(A perfectly sound and spacious three-story Victorian schoolhouse has been up graded through the spurious, visionless touches of a Houston architect named c Frank C. Dill, who should stick to ex perimentation with fast-food structures, , classroom, museum, and ideologue hall, the building within and without parodies t. worthwhile ethical and spiritual values.